We don’t know how the 2021 calendar will look but wherever tennis is played eyes will be on Karolina Pliskova.
It has been over four years since the Czech won a match against a top ten opponent at a major and with four of her last twelve top ten ranked wins coming at the WTA Finals since the beginning of 2018 more consistency and finding that next gear is still the unanswered question.
It is a phrase I use a lot in tennis and it is ‘good to a point’ and finding that next gear is problematic. We have seen the former world number one go through a lot of changes over the last couple of years.
Jiri Vasek left in 2016, David Kotyza who has coached a few Czech players was there for some time in 2017 as was Tomas Krupa who went into 2018. After that we saw Conchita Martinez come in but now the Spaniard only lasted until end of 2019 who is now working with Muguruza. Rennae Stubbs was also around in 2018 at the US Open but that didn’t last.
In preparation for the 2020 season a surprise announcement of Dani Vallverdu as her coach. Dani a former coach of Murray and Berdych was and still is working with Wawrinka and the partnership with Pliskova has just come to an end. I didn’t really get this collaboration at all as Dani had become a key member of Stan’s team, some events are joint but to split between two is tough on the tour.
Adding to Dani Vallverdu to begin 2020 was also Olga Savchuk, Olga who is a former world number 33 in doubles and world number 79 in singles before retiring in 2018 but is still part of the Pliskova team.
The chopping and changing is a problem, it is the player who puts the work into action on the court but since mid-2016 in four years to have had seven coaches is not good. Like I said it is the player on the court but the messaging from coach to coach will be different.
2021 season is unknown but at the same time there is pressure, the four wins across all majors this year is her lowest since 2013 where Pliskova won four across all four events.
I have watched Karolina for years, I’ve seen her locally at Birmingham and I saw her defeat Serena in Melbourne last year and it was great but the consistency isn’t there in result and performance.
Will we see another addition to the team for 2021?